Many people have lauded Queen Elizabeth II for her scandal-free life. Her kids have scandals and her relatives have scandals and her husband gets in trouble for gaffes (i.e. he says racist stupid things sometimes), but the Queen does none of that. Queen Victoria has had more ‘sex scandals’ than Queen Elizabeth. Let that sink in.
But morality and propriety are not the sum of Queen Elizabeth. The woman has a good brain and a backbone of steel. For that, lets also give some credit to the strong-minded Jezebels who make up a portion of her lineage.
Like the Queen Elizabeth I, the current queen has a Boleyn in her family tree, inasmuch as she is descended from Mary Boleyn, who is one of the women discussed in my book The Jezebel Effect: Why the Slut Shaming of Famous Historical Queens Still Matters. As I say in the book:
“Mary Boleyn has been erroneously and viscously slut shamed … because she is rumored to have been the lover of both the king of France and the king of England, and because of spurious accusations that she had sex with other French courtiers [but] the “evidence” of her affair is ridiculously scant … Mary was only in France for six months, from the fall of 1514 to the spring of 1515. She would have been a well-born virgin in her mid-teens and thus would have been under intense chaperonage. Although older court noblewomen sometimes took lovers, an unmarried woman was expected to be a virgin (Rickman, 2008:203). It was a “show me the hymen” school of social mores. If the French king had deflowered Mary, the young daughter of one of Henry’s friends and an important ambassador, it would have raised some dust vis-à-vis diplomacy. It would have been news. Big news. At the very least the Francis would have had to have given Mary a nice gift for her dowry or made a present to her father. Let’s also not forget that Francis I became King in January 1515, but at no time in the years following his coronation was Mary Boleyn ever listed by a contemporary as one of his mistresses. Believe me, the French would have noticed. Watching Francis try to sleep with every woman in his court was a bit of a national pastime. It was only during the height of Anne Boleyn’s unpopularity and demonization that Mary became the “great slut”. Out of the blue people started claiming that Francis I had called her his “English Mare” because he had “ridden” her so much … as far as historical evidence suggests, Mary shared her favors with three men in the course of her lifetime, two of whom were married to her at the time [the other being Henry VIII]. That is hardly promiscuity. So why is she a great and infamous whore? What did she do to deserve slut shaming? Was it just a way of trying to humiliate Anne Boleyn further? Perhaps the real sluttiness of Mary Boleyn is the fact that she, in an age which demanded compliance of women, was noncompliant? She married for love in defiance of kinship and protocol. She chose happiness over wealth and fame. She rebelled, she was a troublemaker, and she considered her own needs to be important. She was, in short, her own person determined to live her own life. As a result, to this day she is remembered and frequently depicted as the slutty and slightly dim older sister of a famous queen, a “mare” to be “ridden” by any man.”
The queen is also descended from a scandalous divorcee. Anne Wellesley married Sir William Abdy in the summer of 1806, and in the autumn of 1815 Lady Abdy eloped with Lord Charles Bentinck. Sir William Abdy was able to successfully divorce her and won seven thousand pounds in “damages” from Lord Bentinck for absconding with Abdy’s “property” in the form of his wife. After the divorce, Anne and Charles were able to marry — just in time for their first child to be born a legitimate heir. One of their sons, Charles William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck was the maternal great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.
Perhaps most intriguingly of all is the fact that the queen is descended from a French actress and courtesan named Hyacinthe-Gabrielle Roland. She was mistress to Robert Wellesley, the Earl of Mornington, who was later raised to the status of the 1st Marquess of Wellesley and was the brother of the Duke of Wellington. In 1794 he married her and legally legitimized their five children, one of whom was Anne Wellesley, the aforementioned scandalous divorcee. Although her marriage was happy, Lady Mornington was miserable in London because she was ostracized by members of the beau monde. “Lady Caroline Lamb was warned by her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Milbanke, a noted judge of what was socially acceptable, that no respectable woman could afford to be seen in Hyacinthe’s society.”
I find it absolutely marvelous that the current Queen of England is the great-great-great-granddaughter of a low-born French harlot as much as she is the great-great-great-granddaughter of King George III.